Formazza is a municipality in the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in the Italian region Piedmont, located about 160 kilometres (99 mi) northeast of Turin and about 50 kilometres (31 mi) north of Verbania, on the border with Switzerland. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 443. The Formazza Valley, an area still characterised by the Walser traditions and their culture, has top-level facilities and a great skiing tradition. Most of the lift systems are located in Valdo - the Valdo 1 and Valdo 2 ski-lifts, the small Gadostaadt and the Sagesboden chair-lift. Formazza, considered by experts to be the “Queen of cross-country skiing”, hosts two Nordic skiing centres: one in San Michele and the other in Riale. San Michele offers a 12 km-long run which follows the course of the River Toce to the valley floor. Riale has facilities for Nordic skiing at high altitude (1760 m) surrounded by unique view of the tracks chosen for the training sessions of the most important national representatives of the team that took part in the Torino 2006 Winter Olympics. In Ponte there is a ski-lift for nocturnal skiing while on the Sidel Glacier (3000 m) it is also possible to ski in summer and the nearby 3A Refuge hosts the Summer Ski School. Ski touring is also one of the attractions offered by the Formazza Valley, with numerous itineraries designed to explore the peaks bordering with Switzerland.